WebMD's Horrible On-Page SEO

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Banditoseo, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. Banditoseo

    Banditoseo Regular Member

    Jul 17, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Think back to everything you've heard about On-Page SEO from Google.

    Then look at this page: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20160719/which-diabetes-drug-is-best

    That page is #1 for Google news search for "diabetes." Just like everything else from WebMD, it dominates the SERPs.

    But that article is a piece of shit from any perspective:
    • Filled with ads.
    • Ridiculous keyword stuffing and over-linking.
    • It doesn't even link to the original source of the information, a study published a few days ago.
    • It's gallery-style, making you click through three separate pages for an article that is maybe 700 words.
    • It's slow. Each of the three pages takes 2.8 seconds to load using the fastest broadband available in a major city.
    So... any thoughts on why Google loves WebMD?

    Obviously, WebMD has DA 94, and that's the number #1 thing pushing the page, but supposedly Google has many, many factors beyond pure domain authority. Content is king, right? User experience is important, right? WebMD is also #2 for the basic search for "diabetes," which puts the user on a confusing landing page with almost zero content and piles of links that lead in circles around the site.

    WebMD has 1.35M pages indexed, but they're mostly shit just like this. The content is human-written and edited, so it passes basic spam filtering, but there's nothing about it suggesting it was written by a specialist (compared to, say, MedPageToday), and the on-page is atrocious. WebMD's a content farm with thin pages overloaded with ads, images, and internal links, and articles are needlessly broken up into additional pages. It should have been killed by Panda several times over, regardless of the domain authority.

    What can we learn from this? Is it as simple as, "once you're over DA 90 you can pull any shit you want?" Did Google give them a pass because they generate loads of AdSense revenue? Or is there something beneficial to this approach? Feel free to tell me I'm wrong and their on-page is awesome because X, Y, and Z, because I just don't get it.
  2. validseo

    validseo Senior Member

    Jul 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Professional SEO
    Seattle, Wa
    It is true... keyword stuffing (if done properly) still works quite well. The problem is that if you have comments or reviews on page then it is easy to get 1500-3000 keyword matches per page without violating any guidelines... for this reason Google still has to hire human beings to enforce it with manual penalties. They only say the keyword 381 times on the page... check out the #1 result for the keyword games... they use over 1500 matches. When you get into high CPC terms like DUI lawyers in certain cities the match count gets into the multiple thousands.